Last night as I was getting ready to continue reading Harry Potter to my son (yes, I still read to him and love it dearly), he paused me into the third sentence, got up from bed and went straight to his bookshelf where he picked a picture book that we had not read in a long time. I looked at him quizically wondering why he would want to read, ‘Make Way for the Ducklings.’ As he climbed back into bed and snuggled himself in he said, ‘Mom, this chapter of Harry Potter is too scary to read at night. Can we read this book now?’
With that information, I took a deep breath dispelling my desire to speak in ancient wizard-y tones and began to read slowly through the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard’s search for the right home for their ducklings while pausing to enjoy the beautifully illustrated pages. There was a lot of chaos and near misses as they searched for a new home, hatched, and taught their babies how to operate in the big scary human world but inevitably, they were aided by some kind people who took the time to stop what they were doing in order to help this little family across a busy Boston street.
I looked up at my son and asked him, ‘ Do you think that this act of kindness could happen now?’ He paused to think and with a furrowed brow replied, ‘probably not as likely’. To which I countered, ‘But there is a possibility? ‘Yes’, he replied. We looked at each other and then back at the illustration. ‘Bud, do you know that you actually just did what the policemen did for Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings? You paused in the face of scariness and provided yourself with some kindness by choosing something that was gentle and beautiful to help you get to sleep.’ A huge grin crossed his face as we smiled at one another while I turned off the lights.
This human world can indeed be big and scary. Sometimes we need a helping hand to cross us to the other side of the proverbial busy road no matter how old or how well trained we are in the art of crossing chaos. I see our practices as an incredible aide to help us transition through the dark and scary waters of our day to day. Our daily diligence helps us to practice pausing even when the world wields its slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, -long enough to regain ground and breath to not only gather ourselves but to also assist others.
We urge you to keep on practicing, keep on quack-a-lacking and keep on loving and caring deeply for yourself and for those known and unknown around you.
Your Friends at TYC